Although the historic use of biological weapons has been infrequent, a belief that state sponsored armies or terrorist organizations will use this type of weapon has never been greater which demands a capability for rapid medical response and early intervention. Molecular diagnostic methods, based on DNA amplification known as PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) are promising tools in fast and specific detection and identification of biological agent(s). TM The R.A.P.I.D.(TM) - PCR (Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device) (fig. 1), is a 32 sample capacity, automated instrument integrating Idaho Technology's LightCycler(R) technology into a portable, impact resistant package. This allows field identification of pathogens quickly.